The ad-supported free content model is, of course, nothing new. In March, for example, CBS partnered with YouTube to provide free, ad-supported NCAA tourney clips. We reported:
In 2005, their subscription model pulled in $250,000. Not too shabby, but nothing compared to 2006, when they switched to a free, streaming, ad-based model: $4.5 million. That’s an 1800% increase.
Of course, there is a catch (or several). NBC Direct will only offer Windows-compatible files. The shows will be available as soon as they air (unlike their Amazon deal, which will offer season premieres in advance), but the digital files will expire seven days after airing. The advertising cannot be skipped.